Nicholas’ thoughts on April and diamonds
Well, it’s April. A month that often incorporates the Easter weekend, which from my early childhood has always been an exciting holiday full of cozy sleep-ins, hot cross buns oozing with butter, Easter egg hunts in my grandmother’s garden, and later in life spending time just relaxing in the garden and entertaining friends and family.
It is always a happy month for Helen and me, because it is the month we celebrate her birthday and our wedding anniversary, and because twice we were fortunate to celebrate this time in Europe. The first time on Lake Como, Italy, and the second in Paris, France. Lunches at Villa D’Este and Isola Comacina on the lake, and dinner at Jules Verne Restaurant in the Eiffel Tower are high points and the memories are still fresh.
Easter is also a time the extended Pike family used to get together at the Easter Oakbank Race Meeting . Our Australian heritage began at Oakbank when Henry Pike emigrated from England and settled in Oakbank and began brewing beer. He created the brewery which became H PIKE and CO and they traded until the 1970s when the brewery was sold. They traded for 88 years and are remembered by many for their beer in the early days, then later their Tonic Ale, soft drinks and cordials. Their relationship with the town of Oakbank and surrounding Adelaide Hills communities was memorable.
The latest news from the PIKE family is that this year marks a very exciting time for some of Henry’s great, great, grandchildren. Sybil, Andrew and Neil Pike from Pikes Wines of Clare Valley have just opened their new brewery, with the help of Andrew’s son Alister, on their property at Polish Hill and are also celebrating 30 years of Pikes Wines success. I was asked to propose a toast at their anniversary dinner and to share some of my stories of early days at Oakbank . I was very honoured to be involved and very happy to share this event with such a passionate and talented family. Our fathers Edgar and Brian, who were brothers, would have been so proud of this achievement and I wish the Pikes every success.
Lastly, and more related to my career, April signifies Diamonds. Throughout my involvement with the jewellery industry, diamonds have continued to fascinate me – whether on their own or mixed with coloured gems, I never tire of their amazing brilliance and beauty. I have used diamonds in many different ways and in a multitude of designs including entries in overseas design awards. I was awarded finalist status twice by De Beers for a bold bangle incorporating 15 carats of baguette and brilliant cut diamonds set in yellow gold and titanium,
and a scintillating diamond brooch featuring an articulated ‘waterfall ‘of 10 carats of brilliant cut diamonds looping over a 4 carat diamond and onyx rod.
Another of my favourites which made it to the finals in Hong Kong, but not the world finals, was a stunning diamond collar incorporating 63 carats of brilliant cut diamonds all set in white gold.
It’s wonderful to dream up these innovative pieces and to be up there with the world’s best.
Thank you for taking the time to read my stories and I hope you all have a safe and relaxing April. When you next have time, come in and let me show you my winning diamond designs. And have a Happy Easter holiday!
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